Knowing whether or not you are getting a good workout can be difficult sometimes. Often, we either exercise too hard to exhaustion, or do not quite work hard enough to get good benefit from our workout. Exercising at the right intensity is important to both prevent injury and to reap the health benefits of your commitment. Here are a few tips to help you get the most outta your sweat!

1. Listen to your inner voice telling you to “do more.” This might actualy be the best way to know if you are exercising at the proper intensity. In fact, studies back up your “exercise thermometer,” and agree that most people automatically choose the correct intensity!

2. If using a resistance band is becoming too easy and you are not noticing any more results, then it is time to invest in dumbbells. As you become better at completing your 500 rep workout with a light dumbbell, you should increase the weight further. Working out consistently with resistance that is not challenging will not offer further progress over the long-term.

3. The last repetition of each set should be challenging! Muscles grow larger and stronger by adapting to the stress put upon it. You have to push your muscles to the limit for them to grow. You should make sure that you are somewhat fatigued at the end of your workout; however, you should not push yourself to a point of total exhaustion. Further, dizziness, nausea, headache, vision changes and weakness are signs that you should scale back your intensity.

If you begin to feel dizzy or nauseated here are a few things to do:

– Take longer breaks between sets.

– Make sure that you are adequately hydrated.

– Back off on the intensity, it may be too much.

As mentioned in tip #1, you are likely choosing the correct intensity if you are being honest with yourself. Don’t be afraid to venture into a heavier weight. Although it can be frustrating to struggle with another level of resistance, you must remember that higher levels of fitness and health come with the challenge!